American Tastes Broaden with International Food Experiences

October 24, 2012

Sherrie Rosenblatt, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 227,
or Kathleen Donlin, Devine & Pearson
617-472-2700 ext. 107

Looking for the rustic romance foods of Spain or curry-infused dishes from Asia without having to stamp your passport? International cuisine has inspired U.S. food operators to explore the many ingredients, spices and flavors used by their culinary counterparts across the globe. The National Turkey Federation (NTF) has observed that ethnic food trends, such as Spanish and Asian, are including turkey more often.

"Consumers are desiring comfort foods again, but with a twist," said NTF's 2005 Turkey Trendsetter, Jeff Grunder of The Machine Shed based in Davenport, Iowa. "The demand for international flavor has inspired operators to incorporate new ethnic accents into traditional plates and proteins, such as turkey, to please customer's changing palettes."

The integration of new flavors brings a new level of satisfaction to traditional foodservice cooking. Common spices like basil and oregano are being replaced with a dizzying array of ginger, curry, cumin and coriander, thus creating high-impact dishes with elegance and sophistication.

According to culinary experts, today's consumers are more sophisticated and desire foods with authentic ethnic flavors making international menu items key for center-of-the-plate.

According to a recent NTF survey, 49 percent of consumers desire non-typical turkey dishes. "Consumers desire foods that experiment with distinctive and interesting flavors when cooking at home or dining out," said Sherrie Rosenblatt, NTF's senior director of marketing and communications. "A dish like Lemon Grass and Ginger Marinated Turkey and Shrimp Pinwheel by Chef Rob Joyce of Warwick, R.I., demonstrates how turkey preparation is evolving."

Turkey, once viewed as a traditional protein, is now being weaved into new trendy international dishes such as Spanish-inspired Turkey, Artichoke and Tomato Tapas. It also marries well with Asian-inspired menus that feature Turkey Satay with Mango and Mixed Greens or Turkey Yamaguichi. All of these dishes and their recipes can be found at, a valuable resource for culinary professionals looking for innovative turkey ideas. Those desiring recipe suggestions can log into the site, choose the "foodservice" tab, then the "700+ Recipes" link. The recipes can be searched by flavors or regional cuisine.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site,, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.